Current Members

Conor Liston, MD, PhD

Conor Liston, MD, PhD Principal Investigator


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Jonathan Witztum

Jonathan Witztum Graduate Student

Jonathan completed his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Life Sciences of Tel-Aviv University. He has extensive computational experience and expertise, acquired throughout, and prior to, his studies at Tel-Aviv University. Working as cybersecurity expert in multiple start-ups, and auditing engineering classes at the Technion, Jonathan honed his computational skills and expanded his mathematical background. Jonathan is interested in the cellular and network mechanisms that are involved in working-memory updating and maintenance processes. For his studies he combines behavioral paradigms and cutting-edge imaging techniques in awake, behaving mice.


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Timothy Spellman, PhD

Timothy Spellman, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow

Tim received his B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Cellular Physiology and Biophysics from Columbia University. In the lab of Joshua Gordon at Columbia, he identified a selective role for the hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in encoding spatial information. He is currently investigating network mechanisms that support cognitive flexibility in the prefrontal cortex using 2-photon and novel light field imaging techniques.


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Baila Hall

Robert Fetcho MD/PhD Graduate Student

Rob is a graduate student in the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering MD-PhD program. He received his B.A. in Computer Science and Neurobiology from Cornell University in 2012. In the lab, Rob is currently interested in understanding the role of prefrontal cortex circuitry in action valuation computation using rodent models of decision making.


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Thu Huynh, PhD

Thu Huynh, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow

Thu received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. She received her Ph.D. from NYU in the lab of Eric Klann, Ph.D. focusing on the role of mTORC1 signaling in various memory paradigms and autism spectrum disorders. In the Liston Lab she is investigating the neurobiological substrates that support the storage of extinction memory. She enjoys succulent propagation and going on adventures with her husband and puppy.


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Amanda Buch

Amanda Buch Graduate Student

Amanda Buch is a Ph.D. student at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in the Department of Neuroscience. She received a B.A. in biophysics from Columbia University in 2014. From 2011 to 2012, Amanda conducted research in Dr. Viviane Taber's laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on the development of stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease and a rat model of pediatric full-brain irradiation, which culminated in the co-authorship of a paper published in Nature. In the fall of 2012, Amanda joined the laboratories of Dr. Elisa Konofagou and Dr. Vincent Ferrera at the Columbia's Kavli Institute for Brain Science to work on a joint project bridging the fields of ultrasound engineering and cognitive neuroscience. Amanda used focused ultrasound to modulate brain function noninvasively and to open the blood brain barrier for targeted drug delivery. In January 2016, Amanda moved to Dr. Daphna Shohamy's laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University to investigate the neural correlates of how Parkinson's patients learn and think differently than healthy individuals. In the Liston Lab, Amanda is subtyping Autism Spectrum Disorder using resting state fMRI and exploring neurocircuitry in mice. Amanda is also active in the areas of scientific outreach, and her talks have been featured by the Dana Foundation and Story Collider.


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Past Members

Yue Meng

Yue Meng Research Technician

Yue received her B.A. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard College. She is currently a medical student at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine


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Larissa Nellissen

Larissa Nellissen Visiting Graduate Student

Lara received her BSc in Biology from Utrecht University and is currently enrolled in the MSc program Neuroscience and Cognition. Her internship at the Liston Laboratory, about the influence of chronic stress on prefrontal cortex remodeling and functional connectivity, is part of her master’s.


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Rachel Moda

Rachel Moda Graduate Student

Rachel graduated from Harvard College in 2013 with a B.A. in Neurobiology and an Honors track in Mind, Brain and Behavior. There she conducted her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Cristopher Bragg, at Massachusetts General Hospital, on the genetic analysis of SNP variants related to DYT6 Dystonia. She has also worked in the Immunology Division at Genzyme for two summer internships in 2010 and 2011, studying pre-clinical immunosuppressant humanized antibodies and their effects on activated human T-cell populations. Matriculating at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2013, she joined Dr. Conor Liston's lab and is currently studying immune system proteins and their role in brain plasticity.


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Baila Hall

Baila Hall Graduate Student

Baila received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Barnard College and is currently a PhD candidate in the Weill Cornell Neuroscience Department. In Dr. Russell Romeo's lab at Barnard she worked on identifying effects of poststress social factors on hormonal stress reactivity in adolescence. Currently she is exploring frontostriatal circuit function in adolescent social behavior and social stress utilizing techniques such as fiber photometry and tissue clearing.


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Mitchell Murdock

Mitchell Murdock Research Technician

Mitch earned a B.S. from Yale College in 2014. He majored in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and studied catalytic RNAs in Ron Breaker's lab. In the Liston Lab, he uses two-photon microscopy to image dendritic spine remodeling and calcium transients in prefrontal cortical microcircuits.


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Tracey Shi

Tracey Shi Research Assistant

Tracey received a B.A. from Harvard in 2010. In the Liston Lab, she is exploring the use of machine learning and structural and functional human neuroimaging to classify psychiatric patient populations.


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David Rosenthal

David Rosenthal Research Technician

David Rosenthal received his BA from Stanford University in 2012 and worked as a clinical research coordinator under Wayne Goodman, M.D. in the Mount Sinai Department of Psychiatry before joining the Liston Lab in May 2016. He is interested in device-based neuromodulation for psychiatric disorders and is using optogenetics and two-photon calcium imaging to study the neural underpinnings of psychiatric disorders such as OCD and major depression.


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